"Elf" is one of my favorite movies.
I laugh every time Buddy the Elf walks into that dark mailroom and, through a scared smile, says, "This place reminds me of Santa's Workshop! Except is smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me."
Buddy has a way of making the most out of any moment.
Christmas is here! It is a season filled with growth opportunities for your church. Here's the good news: No one wants to hurt you and hopefully nothing in your life smells like mushrooms! While that is true, it is still up to you to make the most of this moment. Growth during Christmas doesn't happen without creativity and effort.
Our team has come up with strategy and content to maximize this season. Get to know some of the creators of this content HERE and HERE. Below are 4 ways to accelerate growth and momentum in your ministry this season.
Create shareable content.
If church is interesting, people are interested. Quit desperately trying to get people to invite friends to attend church on Sunday and give people a way to share church with friends every other day. Create content that's simple to share on social media, creates interest and makes someone think differently about church.
Record a 4 episode podcast for each week in December with little known facts about the Christmas story, craft memorable statements to post on Instagram or Facebook, edit Sunday's message down to the best two minutes to post on social media, or create unique video content. Christmas content is most shareable when it's nostalgic, helpful, funny and high quality.
Talk "city", not church.
People in your city want to go to a church during Christmas. Use December to widen the reach of your church by communicating in a way that assumes you are THE church of your city. This requires a shift in how you think and how you talk.
My church held a ribbon cutting for a completed expansion project on our facility; we promoted it as "The Biggest Fireworks Show in Augusta!" Attendance was double what we expected. When advertising your Christmas services, make them a "city-wide" event instead of just for your church. Rather than marketing Christmas Eve service at Life Church, market Christmas Eve in Augusta, hosted by Life Church. See the subtle difference? So will everyone else. Differentiate yourself and expand how people view your church.
Use email to excite people.
Churches underuse email out of fear of wearing people out. This is short-sighted and strategically misdirected. Lose the boring "weekly e-newsletter" that everyone will delete. Maximize email by creating campaigns around major seasons.
Six weeks ahead of Christmas begin an email campaign generating buzz with people. Three weeks out, send two emails a week. Don't be mundane. This is a marketing campaign. Your emails better be well written and your subject line needs to make me click open instead of delete. Ask your most interesting staff members to give you content ideas and your best writers to shape your words.
Give people resources to invite their friends.
Know what most people do with the invite cards they're provided at church? Put them on their refrigerator. Instead of a stale card inviting someone to church, create a card inviting someone to a conversation or an action. A card saying, "Come sit with me" opens the door to a more personal invite than one with a church logo, service times and a map.
The key to effective invite cards is to teach people how to use them. Create a video teaching people a few ways to make the most of the card and the invite. Keep this short video in their view. Email it, post it, play it during your countdown before service.
Christmas is a perfect season to experience growth. Hopefully these tools will help you take a different approach. Keep leading bravely. Merry Christmas!